It seems that Captain America's boot may not be the only Marvel creation that will soon meet with a Nazi backside. According to exclusive trade magazine Production Weekly, reported via ThePlaylist, Sony is interested in bringing aboard the one and only Christoph Waltz (who, we should clarify, is not a real Nazi, but plays a hell of one) for Marc Webb's upcoming 2012 reboot of Spider-Man. The actor, known for his now legendary, Oscar-Winning performance as Inglourious Basterds' sadistic SS Colonel Hans Landa, has since reinvented his career with the proverbial villain's role in upcoming films like The Green Hornet and The Three Musketeers. While his involvement with Spider-Man is still nothing more than a rumor, it would undoubtedly be on course with his current career trajectory.
So, if the report is true, then who would he be playing?
Conventional wisdom about the next Spider-Man film's villain, which date back to when we were still speculating on a fourth film from Sam Raimi, is that 'ole Web-Head would finally be tangling with his iconic nemesis The Lizard. Despite the changing of the guard to Marc Webb and a complete reboot of the series with Andrew Garfield as the new Spidey, the reptilian monstrosity who once called himself Dr. Curt Connors still remains the presumed front-runner. Of course, when the role of the 2012 Spider-Man's unnamed villain was reportedly offered to Michael Fassbender, a younger man, it wasn't exactly a dead giveaway if Curt Connors, who is known to be a mentor figure to Peter Parker was really on tap. Fassbender, of course, would end up declining, and opted to take the role of Magneto in X-Men: First Class. With Christoph Waltz, it would seem like we have a better fit for such a role, anyway. Yet, at the same time, one has to wonder why Michael Fassbender was the first choice for the unnamed role. Was The Lizard who they really had in mind?
The way I see it, a good portion of fans already see the mere existence of this reboot as an offense. Therefore, it really needs to distinguish itself from the previous series, especially if we have yet another origin film on our hands. A good way to do this, is to follow the strategy of Batman Begins and cast some villains that are iconic, but lesser known. In the case of BB, it was Ra's al Ghul and The Scarecrow: Two fixtures from the comic lore of Batman, but not ones that have even come close to live-action glory. By re-working the storyline a bit, they managed to integrate Ra's and to some extent, Scarecrow, directly into the story that had to be told of Batman's origin without taking away from what needed to be told. For Spidey, I think having Waltz (or whoever they get) play a villain like The Chameleon, who was actually the first villain in the comics, might be a safer move. He's an intelligent, scheming villain who fits Waltz's style and age group well enough. Moreover, we wouldn't have to "cram" The Lizard, Green Goblin, or Doc Ock into a tight space along with Spidey's origin, which isn't as compatible to change as Batman's.
By going that direction, it allows the story of the hero's creation to take center-stage and not be overshadowed by an over-the-top villain. If you recall, the entire saga of the Green Goblin was played out in the first Raimi Spider-Man film, all the way to his death. (The Green metal gimp suit wasn't exactly helping, either.) While that film still managed to get by with what strengths it brought to the table, it squandered Spidey's greatest villain as a side-story that had to share scarce screen time with the entirety of Spidey's origin.
What direction do you think they should go with the Spider-Man reboot's villain?